UAE based Cypher Capital, a venture capital firm that invests in Web3, Blockchain, and crypto startups has invested in Bitcoin DeFi platform Velar.

Velar closed its seed funding round of $3.5 million from a range of notable Web3 investors. The round attracted participation from key ventures including Bitcoin Startup Lab, CMS Holdings, Black Edge Capital, GBV, Cypher Capital, Trust Machines SPV, Transform Capital, Maple Block and Samara Asset Group, among others.

Building on the unprecedented interest and growth in DeFi over the past few years that attracted over $100B in liquidity to the Ethereum network, Velar is deploying the world’s first perpetual decentralized exchange (PerpDEX) on Bitcoin.

Velar aims to unlock the $800 billion of dormant network liquidity to Bitcoin’s evolving DeFi landscape, and in doing so, offer BTC holders the same value proposition and yields that have been so successful in the Ethereum ecosystem.

The company is currently preparing for the mainnet launch of Dharma, the first ever Uniswap v2-inspired AMM built on popular Bitcoin Layer Stacks.

Velar intends to use the new capital to accelerate development of its PerpDEX Velar Artha. The platform will leverage Stacks to enable liquidity for DeFi dApps on Bitcoin, with Velar Artha due to launch in Q2 2024.

Despite initially launching on Stacks, Velar is a L2-agnostic protocol and will also integrate other leading Bitcoin L2s. Cem Özer, Co-Founder and CEO of Sovereign labs, and Alexei Zamyatin, Co-Founder of Build on Bitcoin (BoB), both prominent upcoming Bitcoin L2s have also participated in Velar’s funding round as angel investors.

“Velar’s successful funding round is a validation of our mission to make Proof-of-Work and Bitcoin the base layer of DeFi. Velar is set to redefine what’s possible, facilitating $800B worth of dormant liquidity to be used in DeFi; and we’re excited to invite the world to be a part of this groundbreaking journey,” said Mithil Thakore, Co-Founder and CEO of Velar.

“DeFi is the logical next step for Bitcoin. Introducing perps for Bitcoin and other assets that can be swapped in a decentralized way, and earn rewards will help unlock the $500B in untapped value on Bitcoin,” said Muneeb Ali, Co-Creator of Stacks. “This fundraise helps the team at Velar build a liquidity protocol that will be a major gateway for the usability being unlocked by sBTC on Bitcoin L2.”

Velar’s eventual product suite will include an AMM, project launchpad, and PerpDEX, with the latter enabling institutions to utilize their dormant BTC holdings as collateral in a non-custodial way. Velar launched its AMM testnet last May which saw over 165,000 testnet wallets created, a record for a Bitcoin-focused DeFi project.

UAE based Cypher Capital, crypto investment firm has co-led a $2.4 million investment round in German blockchain data analytics firm BitsCrunch. BitsCrunch specializes in multi-chain insights and forensics for NFT and digital assets using blockchain and AI technology.

Backed by Coinbase Ventures, Animoca Brands, Chainlink, Cypher Capital, Crypto.com Capital, Morningstar Ventures, Shima Capital, and others, bitsCrunch is an AI-powered, decentralized NFT data platform that enables developers to build reliable NFT applications (dApps). The company is pioneering crypto data forensics to allow retail, institutional, and venture investors to make better decisions about crypto assets.

Cypher Capital Chairman Bill Qian states: “We are excited to partner with Vijay and his team at blockchain enabled bitsCrunch. They are solving the transparency problem in the NFT space through AI and data analytics, which will further enhance the user experience and trust.”

bitsCrunch recently set a record on CoinList by achieving the fastest sale in history, raising an additional $3.85 million in just 24 minutes (translating to $160,000 each minute). The community-driven event drew participants from 163 countries, marking the most diverse sale in CoinList’s history. The 5x oversubscribed funding underscores the widespread interest and confidence in bitsCrunch’s vision.

bitsCrunch CEO, Vijay Pravin, states: “Cypher Capital has been a great value add for bitsCrunch, especially connecting us to a lot of their Venture Partners and introductions to their portfolio companies. They have been one of the very few active VCs in the last bear cycle. This investment round strengthens our ability to scale across multiple chains in the coming years.”

Cypher Capital cotinues to invest in crypto and blockchain projects. UAE-based social networking and content monetization platform Lyvely,  was one of the most recent.

UAE based FD Capital, a blockchain-focused investment company that empowers investors by providing access to the rapidly evolving blockchain industry  is holding an investor day under the title “ Chains Beyond Borders” on November 1st 2023 in Dubai UAE. The event will explore blockchain technology showcasing latest updates and insights from seasoned investors and experts.

This event features a notable lineup of speakers from the blockchain industry, with keynote speakers including Robert Edward Grant, the Founder of Crown Holdings, and Evan Luthra, a Parallel Entrepreneur and Angel Investor. Other speakers include individuals like Aishwary Gupta, Matt Schmenk, Fabio Tomaschett, Kyle Rojas, Mehmet Buyukakarsu, and more, bringing diverse expertise representing different aspects and ecosystems within the blockchain landscape.  Dariia Vasylieva, the Founder and CEO of FD CAPITAL, will moderate the event.

“Our unwavering vision in the ever-changing landscape of Investments vs. Turbulence is clear: By transcending borders, we empower the community to unleash its potential and create a transformative impact in the blockchain industry and beyond, forging new investment opportunities and strategic partnerships” Dariia Vasylieva, the Founder and CEO of FD CAPITAL said.

This event is proudly supported by partners Cypher Capital, Albus Protocol, GOSH, and Aureli Ventures, as well as media partners Luna PR, IBC Group, AIBC,  Pro-blockchain Media, BeInCrypto, SalAd Lab, cryptorank, TheNewsCrypto,  VNTR,  CoinEasy, BlockDelta,  Syndika, Heir Story, MonteCrypto, Crypto Data Space, BlockBeats and more.

Taking place in the Cypher Capital Hub in Dubai, this event will also be available through a special online segment via Zoom, which ensures accessibility for a global audience. The Zoom link will be sent to approved registered guests, making it a truly exclusive experience.

FD CAPITAL’s mission is to empower investors with access to the fast-evolving blockchain industry, bridging the gap between traditional finance and Web3 to unlock the vast potential of blockchain technology.

UAE-based social networking and content monetization platform Lyvely,  that provides an integrated multimedia e-commerce and payments solution, has successfully raised an undisclosed amount from UAE based Cypher Capital, an early strategy venture firm.

Lyvely soft launched early this month (August) and is already experiencing rapid growth and user adoption.  Led by experienced cofounders, Farah Zafar and Dave Catudal, Lyvely aims to compete with Big Tech global giants and revolutionize the current social networking and social e-commerce landscape. 

“We are the world’s first social networking profile that pays,” says Zafar, who is Lyvely’s Co-Founder and CEO. Every time you post content on Big Tech platforms, they make money. When was the last time you got a cheque or received a payment from Instagram? It just doesn’t work that way in Big Tech because it’s a biased and broken system. Lyvely’s doing it differently. We’re the Platform for the People. Our commitment to our users is to reward them fairly for their contribution to the Lyvely ecosystem. Our mission is to empower people to thrive in this new digital age.”

With the recent funding round led by Cypher Capital, Lyvely has a strategic advantage in the Web3 space. With Cypher Capital’s support, Lyvely will be developing a Cryptocurrency Token that seamlessly integrates into the platform, enhancing the user experience and earning potential on Lyvely.

“We’re designed as a familiar and intuitive Web2 platform, but we’re actually the bridge to a Web3 future for hundreds of millions of people” says Dave Catudal, Lyvely Co-Founder and CXO. “We’re here to create the #1 platform for anyone to monetize their content or services online. With our Token having extensive utility within our platform, we introduce the use of cryptocurrency to the masses, with zero barrier to entry.”

Joining the ranks of Lyvely’s advisory board are Bijan Alizadeh, the Co-Founder of Phoenix Group and Co-Founder of Cypher Capital, and Bill Qian, Chairman of Cypher Capital.

Bijan Alizadeh said “Lyvely is a company that excites us because of the quality of the founders, and the vision they have for becoming the bridge to Web3 for the masses. With Lyvely’s platform, they have seamlessly integrated a tokenized ecosystem using a Web2 user experience and have created a fully integrated platform that revolutionizes the way people make money online. We believe in its future and potential.”

DEX ( decentralized exchange) layer for retail Web3 applications has partnered and received funding from UAE based Cypher Capital VC fund to grow Native’s financial Web3 offering in the MENA region.

Native offers a game-changing solution that transforms exchanges into an integrated feature. With Native, any application can swiftly transform itself into a fully functioning exchange, seamlessly integrating top-tier liquidity providers and generating substantial trading fees.

This strategic partnership will provide Native with the necessary resources to advance its product development efforts, placing a strong emphasis on flexibility, modularity, and interoperability.

Bill Qian, Chairman of Cypher Capital, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership, stating, “We are delighted to invest in Native, an innovative financial infrastructure layer. Native’s exceptional capability to empower applications to establish their own exchanges in minutes, seamlessly integrate top-tier liquidity providers, and generate trading fees is truly remarkable. This strategic partnership and funding agreement will further bolster Native’s product development, with a strong focus on flexibility, modularity, and interoperability. By providing projects with complete control over their swap experience, from the user interface to the pricing model, Native simplifies the complexity of underlying smart contracts and APIs. The result is an elevated user experience, increased capital efficiency, deeper liquidity, and a significant new revenue stream for applications. We firmly believe in Native’s vision and are excited to embark on this transformative journey together.”

Meina Zhou, Cofounder of Native, commented “We are thrilled to announce that Cypher Capital has invested in Native. This strategic investment will provide us with the necessary resources to advance our product development and expand our platform’s reach in the MENA region. Cypher Capital’s investment is a major step forward in realizing Native’s overall vision of building crypto’s modular DEX infrastructure. It also aligns with NativeX’s aspirations to establish itself as the leading DEX for Altcoins across DeFi. We look forward to the exciting opportunities that lie ahead as we revolutionize the world of DeFi.”

UAE Cypher Capital is one of the investors in Concordia, a multi-chain risk and collateral management protocol for digital assets. Concordia closed a successful $4 million seed round in June, attracting significant investments from Tribe Capital, Kraken Ventures and UAE based Cypher Capital among other investors including Saison Capital. 

Concordia’s vision is to create an interconnected, permissionless, and optimized DeFi ecosystem that promotes accessibility, affordability, and developer-friendly environments, ultimately unlocking the true transformative potential of DeFi.

Concordia’s ground-breaking solution attracted the attention of leading Dubai VC Cypher Capital, who are building their portfolio into one of the leading web3 centric portfolios globally.

Bill Qian, Chairman of Cypher Capital said “Concordia represents a significant milestone in the evolution of decentralized finance. As Chairman of Cypher Capital, I am thrilled to be part of this ground-breaking initiative that is bridging the gap between traditional finance and the fast-emerging digital asset ecosystem. Concordia’s innovative collateral management protocol and commitment to interoperability are poised to unlock new opportunities and drive greater efficiency in the global financial landscape. We firmly believe in Concordia’s vision and are excited to support their journey towards creating an interconnected and optimized DeFi ecosystem.”

Concordia addresses this critical pain point within the Web3 ecosystem by leveraging its collateral management capabilities to enable seamless value transfer across previously segregated pools of liquidity, ultimately fostering interoperability across chains. Concordia users gain access to a unified account that allows efficient management of all their assets, opening doors to new opportunities in the rapidly evolving digital economy. By seamlessly integrating multiple blockchains, Concordia pioneers the concept of a cross-chain, cross-protocol margin account in the cryptocurrency space.

The integration of Concordia’s multichain account platform by several prominent Web3 companies enables their users to seamlessly execute margin-related actions.

Concordia is designed as a modular Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution for collateral management, offering a range of products addressing risk, pricing, brokering, rebalancing, non-custodial wallets, and cross-chain synchronization. This architectural flexibility allows Concordia to continuously adapt to the rapidly evolving digital asset landscape.

Tribe Capital’s Managing Partner, Boris Revsin, stated, “I’ve known the team behind Concordia for quite some time, and I am confident they have the grit, technical skills, and go-to-market understanding to make Concordia a market leader in DeFi.”

Laurens De Poorter, Partner at Kraken Ventures, said, “The fragmentation of liquidity across an increasing number of blockchains is a known core issue for those that believe in a multi-chain future. Solving it requires not only superior technology but also best-in-class business development and a deep experience in risk management & compliance. We believe Concordia’s founding team is one of those rare teams that makes all stars align to have a real lasting impact on the overall crypto industry. We could not be more excited to partner up with them!”

Uri Ferruccio, CEO of Concordia, highlights the company’s mission, stating, “Concordia is solving the value convertibility problem for digital assets. There are many different digital assets and distributed ledgers. This has pros and cons. You can create a micro-economy tailored for the fans of a specific company, for example, but value also gets trapped in a multitude of different pockets. Concordia’s unique combination of interoperability technology and institutional-grade risk and collateral management creates a better and safer solution for cross-chain value transfer.”

In a recent LinkedIn post for Vineet Budki, Managing Partner and CEO for Cypher Capital he announced that in one year since the launch of Cypher Capital the $100 million fund has invested $60 million in 40 + blockchain startups.

According to Vineet the first fund had invested in over 100+ blockchain startups that included KILT Protocol, Casper Labs, Cross the ages and others. As for the $60 million, part of the $100 million fund, it was invested in blockchain startups that included Mysten Labs, zkLink, Karate Combat Revolving games, bitsCrunch Cymbal and many others.

As per Budki, Cypher Capital invests in 4-5 startups each month as they continue to support the Web3 ecosystem with capital, knowledge and the CyberHub in Dubai UAE.

This comes as Cypher Capital announced that it was part of the strategic funding round for zkLink, a pioneering multi-chain ZK-Rollup trading infrastructure. The startup raised $10 million  from a group of high-profile investors, including Coinbase Ventures, UAE Cypher Capital, Ascensive Assets, SIG DTI, BigBrain Holdings, Efficient Frontier, Csquared Ventures, and others.

This latest round brings the total funding to $18.5 million. The funds raised will be used to further the zkLink mission of providing crypto traders with a seamless multi-chain experience through our cutting-edge decentralized trading layer.

This technology is based on a multi-chain ZK-Rollup, a cryptographic technique that enables scalable, cost-effective, and secure transactions across multiple blockchains. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way traders execute transactions.

Prior to this Cypher Capital also announced its partnership and $1 million seed investment with Saudi and Singapore based AI Avatar company BuzzAR to create disruptive AI+LBS Web3 location-based game projects, the BuzzAR LBS metaverse project DSpace.

The partnership will allow the companies to leverage proprietary generative AI technologies on its Metaport, a portal that turns human faces to avatars in real-time, to create a decentralized social graph. With leading retail holdings, hospitality partners, and tourism government collaborations in Singapore and Saudi Arabia, BuzzAR is poised to reshape the gaming landscape.

Bill Qian, Chairman of Cypher Capital Group: the lead investor on ‘DSpace’ said: “We are thrilled to support this ground-breaking joint initiative by BuzzAR and some of our gaming portfolios. As the lead investor in this project, we believe that ‘DSpace’ has the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry and pave the way for new opportunities in the AI+LBS Web3 Metaverse. I am more confident than ever before that our commitment to creating an immersive and culturally diverse Metaverse will not only bolster tourism and economic growth in the Middle East but also foster global connectivity and collaboration. We stand at the forefront of this exciting new era, and I eagerly anticipate the transformative impact Dspace will have on our world.”

As per a recent article in Bloomberg, UAE Cypher Capital an early-strategy venture firm focused on investing in Web3 infrastructure, is seeking to raise $100 million for a crypto venture fund. Cypher Capital’s Chairman Bill Qian, the former head of Binance Labs, stated that he is seeking over $100 million in funding for a crypto venture fund. 

Bill Qian joined Cypher Capital in September 2022 as the new Chairman of its Board of Directors. Bill brings to Cypher Capital more than 15 years of invaluable industry expertise in managing and investing over $20 billion.

As per the article Cypher Capital is prioritizing projects that will bring about 5 billion more internet and social users to the web3. Bill Qian planned to approach Asian tech moguls for funding but did not name them.

Qian, plans to invest in web3-focused start-ups. The next edition is determined by the laxity of the internet that advocates say will be more decentralized and dependent on blockchain technology.

Cypher Capital has ten employees and recently invited Elaine Liu, a veteran of Tencent, to support its expansion in the UAE. In November, the company set up an office space for crypto and blockchain startups at Dubai Marina as part of an effort to find future deals.

He also declined to disclose whether the fund received any commitments but said the digital asset’s recovery this year, which has seen Bitcoin rise around 50%, has helped raise capital just got easier.

In June 2022, Cypher Capital  invested in Blockchain gaming platform, MetaOne. UAE Cypher Capital, Huobi Ventures, LD Capital and GSR Capital have invested 2 million USD in MetaOne, a SAAS ( Software as a Service) platform that is working to onboard games and guilds onto blockchain gaming.

In November 2022, Rekt Studios, a Dubai-based startup  secured $1.5 million in funding from Cypher Capital, to bolster the development of the ‘Unseen’ ecosystem. 

UAE DMCC, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, has launched the DMCC Gaming Centre in support of the increasingly growing global and regional video games industry. Members of the center who are developing blockchain games will be able to access $150 million funding from VC firm Brinc. Currently standing at USD 1.8 billion, revenues generated by the gaming industry in the MENA region are expected to reach USD 5 billion by 2025.

Launched during the Dubai Esports Festival, the DMCC Gaming Centre formalizes DMCC’s efforts in the gaming and esports space, creating a supportive environment in which all gaming and esports companies can thrive. DMCC is currently home to over 50 gaming companies, from game developers and producers to esports teams and tournament organizers.

The DMCC Gaming Centre will be based in DMCC’s free zone, providingaccess to a vibrant community of gaming industry peers to unlock new opportunities for collaboration. Gaming companies looking to expand their global reach and connect with audiences across the world will also benefit from DMCC’s fully digital setup process, world-class infrastructure, and commitment to increasing the ease of doing business.

 Under the DMCC Gaming Centre, members will have access to the wider esports community through regular events and esports tournaments and industry support from DMCC’s ecosystem partner YaLLa Esports, a leading esports organization in the UAE. Furthermore, members will have the opportunity to join gaming specific acceleration and market entry programs through our ecosystem partner, AstroLabs, a leading tech ecosystem builder in the MENA region. 

Earlier this year, DMCC partnered with the global VC firm Brinc to provide members with access to USD 150 million in funding through their accelerator programs ZK Advancer and The Sandbox Metaverse. Those programs will also be open to DMCC Gaming Centre members developing games on blockchain and web3 technologies.  

 “Gaming is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with nearly 3.2 billion people playing and spending a combined total of USD 196.8 billion in 2022. The size and growth of the industry today is staggering compared to when video games first appeared in the 1970s,” said Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DMCC. “These passionate communities are constantly looking for greater immersion and storytelling in their chosen form of entertainment. As our roster of gaming companies expands rapidly and as we see more of our DMCC Crypto Centre members enter the blockchain gaming space, there is no better time to formalize our efforts by opening the DMCC Gaming Centre. Through this facility, we will solidify Dubai’s position as a global hub for all forms of gaming and esports.”

Prior to this announcement UAE Cypher Capital and Phoenix Group  invested with others into the new blockchain Web3 gaming platform, Fenix Games. Led by a group of industry veterans from gaming, blockchain, and financial markets, Fenix Games plans to acquire, invest, and publish both existing games and blockchain games of the future. Cypher Capital also invested $1.5 million in Rekt Studios which is also taking Web3 gaming to a new direction.

Fenix Games is a next-generation games publisher facilitating the transition of the next billion gamers into a blockchain-integrated future. Whereas traditional, “Web 2.0” games have mature distribution platforms and markets that bring billions of players and developers together, Web 3.0 lacks the infrastructure, tools and support to facilitate mass adoption. As more and more quality developers embrace blockchain technology and design principles, we see an opportunity for the role of Publishing to elevate its value in the design, go-to-market and operations of games.

At the time Munaf Ali, CEO at Phoenix stated, “Despite the recent challenges in crypto, Cypher Capital Group remains optimistic and bullish about the future of web3 and blockchain projects.”

In September 2022, Kevin O’Leary announced that he was launching a crypto fund in UAE called Cypher with a lead investor from the UAE, yet he did not mention who. Today it has become public knowledge that the lead investor is no other than UAE Cypher Capital.

Vineet Budki, Managing Partner and CEO of UAE’s Cypher Capital, announced that the fund Kevin O’leary had mentioned at Converge22 was in partnership with Cypher Capital.

In his LinkedIn post he states, “We look forward to an amazing relationship with Kevin O’Leary and Paul Palandijian, CEO of O’Leary Ventures and as always the super human effort of Bijan Alizadeh Founder of Cypher Capital and Munaf Ali, Founder and CEO of Phoenix Group.”

He adds in his post, “The new bigger Cypher Capital fund is coming and we are happy to support the Web3 and Blockchain ecosystem globally and in MENA.”

It seems that the announcement was also made by Alizadeh during Gitex 2022 at TDeFi stage. 

Kevin O’ Leary, nicknamed “Mr. Wonderful”, a Canadian businessman, entrepreneur, and television personality and an advocate of crypto stated at Converge 22, “I recently became a citizen of the United Arab Emirates to work freely in a region that has attracted investment by some of crypto’s heaviest hitters, including exchanges FTX, Binance and Crypto.com. The new all-Web3 fund’s lead investor comes from the United Arab Emirates.  There’s a tremendous amount of capital and interest there to invest in this space.”

UAE Cypher Capital which launched in March 2022 is a private venture capital firm rooted in the UAE and MENA region. At the time of its launch it noted that it had a USD100 million seed fund that would focus on investments in blockchain, crypto and other digital asset projects with genuine value propositions.

At the time Bijan Alizadeh, Founder and General Partner at Cypher Capital stated, “We are very proud and honored to be launching our first and the biggest crypto, digital asset and blockchain private seed fund from the UAE and the Middle East Region.  This fund reflects our vision to be the leading global partner for projects in the blockchain, crypto and the digital asset community. We will collaborate closely with our portfolio projects, offering them access to our network and equipping them with our knowledge, as well as investing alongside other venture capital partners into innovative blockchain, crypto and digital asset projects.”

With this latest partnership it seems that Alizadeh has kept his promise and is working alongside other venture capital partners to help grow the blockchain and digital asset ecosystem.

Cypher Capital had already invested USD1.5 million into UAE’s Crypto Oasis Sentio, showcasing its belief that cooperating with other private venture capital funds builds the blockchain ecosystem. “